"For the first time, we've built a sequence from ancient DNA that is essentially without error," said Richard Green of Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany.
Research suggests that the last common ancestor of Neanderthals and humans lived about 660,000 years ago.
The Neanderthal mitochondrial genome presented in the study is a useful forerunner for the sequencing of the complete Neanderthal nuclear genome, the researchers said, adding that this project is already well underway.
The story does go on to say that the precise relationship between Neandertals and modern humans is not known. I will have to find out what Milford Wolpoff and Dave Frayer are saying about this, since it pokes yet another hole in the Neandertal/modern human continuity argument for central and western Europe.